Avoid these nine emailing faux pas at all costs

I love email, you love email, we all love email. But what we don’t love is when emailing goes horribly wrong.

Emailing faux pas can happen in the workplace, but if you want to avoid them and not look like a complete fool, then best read the following nine tips.

1) Check if “reply all” is necessary

If several people are included in an email thread, check if you need to reply all or only reply to the sender. People hate having to open and read emails when the information doesn’t apply to them!

2) Don’t copy/paste too eagerly

If you need to email several bloggers or companies the same information, it’s fairly commonplace to copy/paste the same email and simply change the name in the “Dear X” intro.

However, how things can go wrong is if you forget to alter it and end up using the wrong business/blogger name… very awkward.

3) Sending an email before finishing it

It’s pretty frustrating to write out an email, click send, and then stare horrified at the screen because you completely forgot several key points.

Thankfully with Outlook, recalling an email is pretty easy and simple, and lets you drag an email back from ending up in someone’s inbox. Also quite handy if you write an angry message but then have second thoughts after hitting send…

4) Forgetting an attachment

This is a bit of a classic mistake, but still needs to be stamped out. Many email providers will give you an alert if you wrote the word “attachment” but didn’t actually attach anything. Attaching the wrong file is equally scandalous, as you could be sending someone information that they shouldn’t have seen.

5) Being too informal

Feel free to use “lol” or “plz” when messaging your friends, but go easy on text speech and emojis when in a professional setting. Unless you know this person incredibly well, jumping into informal speech can make you look a bit silly.

6) Sending follow-up emails way too quickly

Writing a follow-up email after a job application is always a good idea, but you should know the right time to do it. If you email business partners or colleagues about a task, and then write a follow-up email only a few hours afterwards and demand a reply, then don’t expect a friendly answer.

7) Conversely, taking forever to reply to a simple message

Of course, you shouldn’t expect someone to reply to an email with lightning quick speed, but how annoying is it when you just want a quick answer to a simple query?

If you ask someone about a project on Monday and they reply about it on Friday afternoon without any good excuse, then they’ve committed a terrible email faux pas.

8) Not proofreading your own emails

If your email is riddled with spelling errors or even autocorrect mistakes, then your message won’t be seen in a good light. If it’s quite important, then spend some time proofing your email to ensure there aren’t any glaring mistakes, especially if you’re sending an email from a phone or tablet.

9) Checking emails during your breaks, meetings, meals, or chatting with others

Finally, it’s good to spend some time away from your email account! Getting up from your computer and then checking your emails again while you’re having lunch or walking outside for some fresh air doesn’t give your brain any time to think about things other than work.

Let your mind wander for a while, and return to your email account when you’ve had a good break. Oh, and definitely don’t read emails or check your phone while you’re speaking to someone, as that’s just a faux pas to avoid in life!

Photo by Christin Hume